Graphite powder for Wax

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by padawan, May 16, 2006.

  1. padawan

    padawan New Member

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    Would love to hear from those who have experience with making their own chain lubrication with parafin wax.

    Just bought a wipperman chain - going to start waxing.

    A few questions:
    1) Where can you by powdered graphite? Any brand names I should consider?
    2) Ratio of powdered graphite to wax?
    3) Any other materials I could/should consider (someone suggested molybdenum) instead of graphite?
    4) Any other advice you might have on the proceedure?

    Many thanks!
    Pad
     
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  2. padawan

    padawan New Member

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    I'll try one more time... Does no one make their own chain lube using parafin wax?

    (Maybe if no one does it's not a good idea.)
     
  3. tetsuryuu

    tetsuryuu New Member

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    I can't say I've ever heard of doing this... I used to use graphite powder on model cars to make the wheels spin better, and I don't think you'd hurt anything since the particle size is so small. But I'm also not convinced you'd see any benefit. Check your local hobby shop for the graphite, and let us know how it works out!
     
  4. schmuzzy

    schmuzzy New Member

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    i've the same mindset as tetsuryuu- graphite works wonders if you've something VERY delicate (light) and friction is the biggest thing to overcome. like the above mentioned model cars- the're usually very light, gravity is usually the only accelerating force, and they mostly all weigh the same- thus the one to reduce friction the greatest wins.

    however, in this particular situation- graphite is used because wet libricants induce surface tension and actually create too much drag. oil slows them down and wax would just bind the wheels.

    with a bicycle chain- i think any benefit gained from the graphite would be lost in the stickiness of the wax. even light grease would be better than wax...



    also think about maintanence. when you go to clean it- wax/grease is twice as hard to get off as oil.

    maybe these reasons are why nobody waxes?


    my $.02
     
  5. TooTall999

    TooTall999 New Member

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    Waxing with parrafin does work,but isn't any good in wet conditions.I used to wax..kept my parrafin in a coffee can which I'd place in a pan of boiling water...dunk the chain once the wax liquified and let drip dry-harden.I never tried mixing anything into the wax,the parrafin is the lubricant.
     
  6. Mpc350

    Mpc350 New Member

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    I'm feeling surly, but isnt a bottle of Tri-Flow only like $4 or so? I'm not sure I get the point of making my own lubricant. I do like to build my own wheels, though. Maybe it's the same thing.
     
  7. tetsuryuu

    tetsuryuu New Member

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    To clarify, this is more what I meant. I've never done it myself, but my grandfather was an avid cyclist for 15 or 20 years after retiring (at 91, he's a little too tippy now to ride) and he routinely would degrease his chain in a solvent and then dip it in parrafin. But he also had a lot of time on his hands. I'd personally rather spend 2 minutes 5 times a week to lubricate a chain than an hour degreasing and waxing.
     
  8. padawan

    padawan New Member

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    Thanks to all who responded! I'm still probably going to give it a try. Like Mpc350 who builds his own wheels, it's kind of a do-it-yourself mentality.

    I have an older bike which I use in wet conditions so the wax will only be used on my dry-bike.

    I realize each cleaning and reapplication will take longer but I think the benefits will be having to do that less often, and not ever having to deal with black grease everytime I take my chain off (Wipperman Connex).

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    Pad
     
  9. OscarC

    OscarC New Member

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    I've done it. Won't do it again. Too much work as compared to wiping and lubing. Plus...the wax flakes off leaving a waxy mess on the wheels, deraileur and chain stay.



     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Take a #2 pencil (remove the "wood" as needed) and rub the "exposed" graphite against a CLEAN flat file ... that's certainly the easiest & cheapest source of graphite.
     
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